Instagram is testing a major change to the stories interface — displaying a maximum of three stories in the main viewing window.
Any additional stories shared are then hidden behind a small "Show All" button beneath the top navigation bar.
To see how it looks (and works), watch this breakdown by entrepreneur and content creator @emilyvalentineofficial below:
What Does This Change Mean for Brands and Creators?
This test could have a major impact on anyone who uses Instagram in a professional capacity, depending on how widely it is rolled out.
🚨 Instagram update: Instagram is hiding stories— Steve Mellor / Instagram + TikTok (@thestevenmellor) May 18, 2022
Instagram is testing a new feature for stories that only shows 3 stories and forces the user to click "play all" to see the remaining stories.
Why should you care? It's going to dramatically change the way stories are used.
By limiting the number of stories displayed in the main view, the chances of users clicking the small "See More" button and viewing additional stories becomes a lot less likely.
As a result, we'll likely see brands and creators reducing the number of stories they share per day to a maximum of three — making the whole experience feel more curated and less "off-the-cuff."
For most brands or creators, the effort of creating additional stories (with the knowledge they'll hardly be seen) will be a clear incentive to reduce their output and focus on their top three snippets from the day.
It's a huge change for the platform, and one that fundamentally goes against the spontaneous and casual nature of stories.
Which brings us to the question: Why is Instagram testing this change?
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Why Is Instagram Testing This Change?
For many, this UI test is a real head scratcher.
I don’t even understand Instagram anymore. What’s this show all feature on stories and why?— GG💎🇬🇭 (@FutureSailorr) May 16, 2022
But when we look at else is going on at Instagram, it could all be part of a bigger plan.
Mosseri has repeatedly mentioned having a more "streamlined experience" on the app, and there's a new 9:16 full-screen view for posts being tested in the Home feed.
With all this mind, it suddenly feels likely that we'll see stories making their way into the main Home feed.
If you're unsure on how this could work, take a look at how carousel posts are displayed in the new full-screen Home feed.
Image credit: @mattinamoderna
By limiting the number of stories to a maximum of three (alongside a new 60 second limit per story) this integration will feel much more seamless.
However, this is still a test — so whether this update will roll out to all accounts is yet to be confirmed.
What do you think about this potential change? Let us know over on Later's Instagram account.
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